We are GMBLRS, five long-time friends in real life and coincidentally of casino games who have been playing at online casinos for decades. This is a guide we have written from our experience to inform anyone who likes to play at online casinos or is about to get started. We hope you will find everything you were looking for and welcome any additional info you would like to share. If you want to read more about GMBLRS then a good place is our #aboutus page. If, on the other hand, you want to go straight to the point, below is our guide crafted with sweat, love and passion.
Best Online Casinos for Beginners and Experts
What is the best online casino? This is an eternal question that nobody can really answer in full, simply because a gaming experience is very subjective. And even on a site where you will find all things that you are looking for, there might be a bad experience waiting to happen. And where you will feel well-treated and comfortable might not be the same for your friends or other players.
For these reasons, we divided this guide into three parts. The best online casinos for beginners, the favourite picks of our GMBLRS members and finally a combination of the above for our UK visitors and members.
Just so you know, all our reviews and star ratings are based on the ratings given by our members. Hence, we as administrators do not define between ourselves what a five or three-star online casino is!
After playing at online casinos for more than 15 years, it is rather easy to forget the most important questions for a beginner. In order for a newbie to have a good first experience, the responsibility lies clearly with the operator. These picks below are made from those casinos where we know for a fact that new casino player will be received with open arms and assisted in a professional way if there are any problems. Hence, the most important criteria for selecting these brands were the level of customer service and the usability of the site from a beginner’s point of view.
Welcome to the crème de la crème of all our listed casino brands as rated by our GMBLRS community. Every member and visitor can leave once a star rating and comment for each casino we feature on our site and we are proud to present you with their favourite choices. All ratings are recorded and an average calculated. Those scoring best make it into our exclusive listing.
This is our second member-based listing. While they might not have the highest star ratings, they are the most talked-about gaming hangouts within our community. It provides a good impression as to where our members enjoy their gaming sessions very often and their experiences.
UK players are spoilt for choice when it comes to online betting and gaming sites. While the beginnings were dominated by the big bookmakers as well as Playtech and Microgaming casinos, there is a wide range of online casinos operating today under a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. The big boys such as William Hill, SkyVegas, Ladbrokes and Betfair are still prevalent in the market but the high growth rates in online and especially mobile gaming has seen many smaller outfits and casino-only sites setting up shop in Great Britain. We have tested most of these site in collaboration with real UK players to separate the wheat from the chaff, a selection of which you can find below.
To launch a new online casino take time, money and effort. The teams spent months in advance to carefully plan everything from game choice to loyalty program to ensure a smooth launch. Due to our extensive industry network, we are able to be among the first to hear about new planned openings and will be adding them to our list the soon they pass our vetting process, giving our readers the chance to be among the first to sign-up and enjoy special welcome bonuses.
Browse through our list of the latest online casinos that have just opened their doors to the gambling public. We have a healthy mix of completely new operators and the latest brands from established casino groups, each with a generous welcome package eager to offer players an exhilarating gaming experience.
Keep an eye on this section as these casinos are preparing to launch soon. Rest assured that we have done a stringent vetting to make sure they are legit, are being run by competent people and they have acquired the appropriated licenses for their operation.
Pay&Play is a relatively new concept that surfaced in 2017 and has since grown exponentially as it offers a no-hassle gaming experience that does not require registration as such. Players simply deposit via Trustly or Swish, who take care of the identification checks, letting players head straight for the games section to enjoy their favourites.
Withdrawals are instant or at worst near-instant as they are transferred back to the depositing bank account within minutes of being requested. Currently, Pay&Play is mainly available in Sweden, Finland and Germany with plans to add more countries in the near future. Some casinos offer a hybrid model with Pay&Play in the eligible countries and standard account registration for the rest of the world.
Finding the right casino is not always an easy task. Players have different expectations as to how an exhilarating gaming experience should look like. Mobile-first, focussed on an adventure map or rather plain bonuses, loyalty program and more need to be considered before we call a casino our gaming home so to speak. We compiled a few groups based on specific criteria to assist you in your search for a new favourite hangout.
Casino adventure – Play and pick freebies
Gamification is a rather new word in casino speak that has gained in momentum as the rising number of online gaming sites try to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd. Many decided to offer players an adventure-like experience where their activity at the casino is rewarded with a variety of extras. You collect valuables, belts, freebies and much more by signing up to these sites. Below is a selection that have focused their offering on gamification.
If somebody told us just 10 years ago that one day everyone would have a casino in his or her pocket, we would have laughed it off as an April fool’s joke. Well, it is not as today’s smartphones have advanced so much that we can play casino games virtually anywhere as long as we have a data connection. Some operators went as far as developing their own app for smartphones and tablets while others created a mobile version of their desktop sites that offers all compatible slots and games. Below is a compiled list of casinos with a focus on mobile gaming.
Do you prefer to face a real person on the other side of the table when you place your chips? Then Live Casinos are the closest you will get to a visit at a brick-and-mortar casino. Choose between a wide range of Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat tables and then sit down in the comfort of your home to enjoy your favourite. Mobile players are welcome too as the games are available on virtually any mobile device.
Loyalty programs are a firm part of a casino experience where players are rewarded for their activity at a gaming hangout. From signing-in to placing bets or spinning the reels, there is a large variety of activities casino operators are taking as criteria for their programs.
The most basic ones will get you points for every bet made which you can exchange for casino chips that can be cash or bonus money. At the same time, you might advance on a series of levels from basic to VIP that will get you increasingly more generous benefits.
Others are more elaborate and offer a range of rewards alongside cash/bonus chips. You will find free/bonus spins at a variety of bet levels, merchandise such as t-shirts, watches, mobile phones and exclusive experiences like luxury holidays, tickets to events and concerts.
VIP programs – How to become VIP casino player
VIP programs are an integral part in player retention for landbased and online casino operators alike. It recognizes loyal and high-stakes players that usually are responsible for the bulk of their turnover and revenues. Hence, it is only normal that those players are getting the special attention to entice them to stay with a casino.
Virtually every operator has a separate department that is tasked to take care of this group of players. Armed with special and bigger offers for bonuses, complimentary chips better known as comps, expedited withdrawals, higher limits, invitations to special events and other goodies, the VIP hosts do their best to keep their VIP players happy and thus returning to their casino.
If you are a high-stakes player, we recommend approaching the customer support at a casino to enquire about their program and the prerequisites for joining it. Very often, they will welcome you directly into their VIP program after an initial assessment.
Important for our UK readers to know are the latest changes casino operators agreed with the Gambling Commission with regards to VIP programs. As per January 2020, no players below the age of 25 shall be allowed to join such programs while those being invited have to undergo thorough checks known as Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD). A full audit trail is now required with all decisions regarding VIP players being authorized by senior staff at a casino.
Shops and loyalty points for all customers
Most casinos offer a loyalty program for their players where every bet will see you collecting points. These can be exchanged in a shop-like section for a variety of rewards including cash/bonus chips, free/bonus spins and other goodies. If you prefer playing at such sites, then we recommend browsing through the sites below as they all offer a loyalty program.
Online casinos come in an endless variety that makes it sometimes difficult to find the one that best fits your style and budget. Are you looking for specific game providers or payment method? Is maybe the licence important or a large welcome package? You can use our advanced search tool to browse through our complete list and compare a range of casinos that will assist you in finding the best gaming destination.
Just like in any other business area, there are comings and goings. New hangouts open their doors and others are shut down for various reasons. Below is a list of the most recent online casinos that have ceased their operations.
While most online casinos are regulated and operate under licenses from various authorities such as the MGA Malta, Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner, the Swedish Spelinspektionen and the UK Gambling Commission to name just a few, there is still an enormous number of so-called rogue casinos that prey on gamblers without any or little intention to pay winnings in a timely fashion or at all. These are the online casino you have to stay away to avoid losing your hard-earned cash without any chance whatsoever to enjoy any potential winnings.
At GMBLRS we list only thoroughly vetted online casinos that have been tested for various criteria before we add them to our site. That includes among others number of games, withdrawal time frames, licenses, customer support availability and responsiveness, years in operation and existing player complaints. Each casino is then assigned a rating to give you a clear guide which are the best casinos. The ratings are kept up-to-date in real time as all readers can submit their own score from 1-5 stars. Thus the current score will reflect how the casino is faring among players.
How to spot a roque online casino? There are a few distinct pointers that we encountered ourselves in our past gaming adventures and some that are straigh-up indication that a casino is not kosher.
The first point of call should always be a licence check. All UK-licensed casino will have a UKGC logo at the bottom of their main page which will have a link that will redirect you to the license page at the Gambling Commission. By the way, the same applies for all other legal jurisdictions. Always make sure that the licence is active and there are no restrictions placed on it. The reason why the licence is so important is the fact that such casinos have to adhere to stringent regulations for responsible gambling, social responsibility, fairness of the games and more. So always make sure to play at only those casinos that have a valid licence.
Avoid casinos that hide their license or business entity which is the owner/operator of the casino. There will be little you can do if you play at such places and then they refuse to pay your winnings.
The next thing to check is whether the games are legit, does the casino publish official RTP values and have they been audited by a reputable testing house. Every legit casino will have their games audited at regular intervals to make sure they run random as required and produce fair results for players.
Fake games are not always easy to detect, especially because some fakers are really good at what they are doing. In general, load a game in fun mode, hover your mouse over it and right-click to see a menu open up. Select “Inspect Element” and a raw code window will open up. Scroll down to find the game server on which the game is running, e.g. for NetEnt it has a domain ending in “casinomodule.com”. All legit casinos will have their games running from that server.
We highly recommend to stay away from casinos that accept players from a country but do not have a proper licence, e.g. taking UK players but only have a Curacao licence. There is little or no player protection should things get awry.
Here at GMBLRS, we are also monitoring the world wide web for reports about stalled or non-payments, unresponsive customer support or fake games. Our list of approved casinos is updated regularly to make sure they are all still valid and good choices to enjoy your favourite games. Similarly, we keep a list of rogues where we recommend to stay away.
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